Although Delhi’s Paharganj area was testing my backpacking travel skills in ways I wasn’t expecting, I sucked it all up and made my way to visit the Delhi main tourist attraction sites. There are some magnificent historical monuments in Delhi and I had about 2 days to explore those.
First day, I started up with the National Museum, which – if only for the artifacts held there – could be world class but does less than an okay job. I walked out and make my way on foot to the India Gate.
A 5 minutes walk from the India Gate was the badly preserved Purana Qila. What I really don’t get is who exactly makes the decision of what monuments in India deserve the attention of the World Heritage committee and which don’t. Purana Qila is as impressive as other sites, but now serves more of a make-out place for the parent-escaping Indian couples who come to do the unacceptable in the old fort’s main decaying gardens.
Ignoring the hordes of Indian children coming to the nearby Indian standard zoo, I took a rickshaw down to the most impressive site of the day – Humayun’s Tomb – a well preserved series of fort-like structures with a glorious Tomb inside.
It was surprisingly the first time I realized the Jewish Star of David is also a very important symbol for Islam in India. I found that extremely strange as, living in Jerusalem, I thought I knew something about Islam and mosques, and yet – we saw it all over India but never in Israel. But maybe I just didn’t notice it before.
I just found Delhi to be extremely confusing. The historic sites were interesting, but all that was outside in actual Delhi I couldn’t really enjoy. I rode up exhausted to Delhi big-circle and tried unsuccessfully to relax in one of the better high-class restaurants of that area. The general unfriendliness of the locals everywhere I went to in Delhi has completely disoriented me. I wrapped things up quickly and headed back to my filthy street and quickly up my hotel into my haven room. I kept wondering how my father, who was expected to arrive there the following day, was going to deal with Delhi.